Jamaica: High levels of benzene in air from dump fire
Mar. 23, 2015
KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Jamaican health officials says air quality tests done in the wake of a massive dump fire show such high levels of a known carcinogen that they now consider it a significant public health issue.
The health ministry says air tests taken March 13-14 show the highest levels of benzene the government agency has ever recorded.
In a Monday statement, acting Chief Medical Officer Dr. Marion Bullock DuCasse described it is a "significant public health" matter.
But at the same time, the ministry notes that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say long-term benzene exposure means exposure of a year or more.
A week ago, DuCasse said she did not believe there would be any long-term effects from the dump fire that blanketed Kingston with noxious smoke.